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Windows Thread, Physical to Virtual in Technical; Has anyone here used the VMWare Physical to Virtual application? If so would could they detail their experiences? I want ...
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    garethedmondson's Avatar
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    Physical to Virtual

    Has anyone here used the VMWare Physical to Virtual application?

    If so would could they detail their experiences? I want to virtualise some of our servers but have never done it before - I'm just playing at the moment. If it works well then hey ho I'll keep them virtual LOL.

    Many thanks

    Gareth

  2. Thanks to garethedmondson from:

    meastaugh1 (2nd February 2009)

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    ranj's Avatar
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    Excellent thread, I am looking into doing this as well. Is there a sepearate application which does P2V migration. Is this app free?

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    FN-GM's Avatar
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    I have used VMware converter, it has worked excellent for me. One bit of advice never use it on a DC you can cause problems with replication and end up with 2 different versions of AD.

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    jj99's Avatar
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    We did a domain migration, and we used vmware conveter to take a copy of all the old servers to run a practice on.

    We had 12 running on 1 in the end it was brilliant! They ran better than the real things.Both the test and the migration were very succesfuly.

    We curently looking at virtulsing all our lesser servers still think i want to keep my DC's and file servers "real"

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    EduTech's Avatar
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    We have also used vmWare converter, excellent peice of software, has worked a treat for us. done about 6 servers with it

    recommend it

    James.

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    meastaugh1's Avatar
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    Those of you that have successfully run Converter on production systems, did you run it hot or cold? When running a hot conversion on database servers (eg SQL, Exchange), is it advisable to stop the services (assuming it's already disconnected from the network to prevent users changing data)?

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    never use it on a DC you can cause problems with replication and end up with 2 different versions of AD
    You can cause problems with a DC on real hardware. Are you saying that because of your recent USN rollback problem? I didn't really read those threads or get what had happened to cause it, but I can't think of a reason for it that isn't avoidable.

    is it advisable to stop the services
    Yes, in the same way it's advisable to stop as many services as you can before taking a full backup you want to restore to the same machine. Cold-cloning is the obvious extension of that precaution - if you can do it cold, then do it cold.

    --

    More generally time can be an issue so it's worth reading about ... there's a lovely, complicated VMWare paper on that somewhere.

  9. Thanks to PiqueABoo from:

    meastaugh1 (2nd February 2009)

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    We moved across to VMware before christmas (lucky timing as one server's hardware died the same week as the transfer). We has http://www.coniston.co.uk/ do the install (and have had them dothe same at where I worked previously).

    Few things to note:
    1) NT 4 servers don't go across well and if you cold clone they need more than 128MB RAM (that server remains physical for now)
    2) when P2Ving any problems that were on your servers previously remain on them on the new system.
    3) Hyper-V server 2008 is FREE! (and good)
    4) MS server licening allows you to buy 1 standard edition with Hyper-V and install 1 Virtual Free, Enterprise 1 physical + 4 VM's, Datacenter edition (Per CPU not per server) gives you 1 physical licence and unlimited VM's (compatible with VMware systems)
    5) Microsoft Virtual Machine Manager 2008 is good - will manage both VMware, Virtual Server and Hyper-V servers from the same consol.
    6) someone said they had moved 11 servers onto 1 machine - have at least 2 and if using VMware setup V-Motion will load-balance and give redundancy (as long as VM's are stored on shared storage/SAN)
    7) if you are worried about loosing your servers forever have a nice cheap server sat as a physical Active Directory G.Cat server as backup then have all over servers on VM's - management is much easier.
    8) If you aren't sure about what you are getting, goto another place that is already using a similar setup - it's getting alot more common now.
    9) If you don't want to kill the whole system in the process of transfering it pay someone to do the install - a competant company will run you through the setup so you know what's happening for future but gives you less worries during the innitial install.
    10) on exchange and the likes stop the services (and if your exchange server is a DC also look at taking that role off it at the same time - if you have problems in the future it restricts what you can do to fix it)
    11) Don't forget to set the Virtual Centre Server to Auto boot first so you can use the VI Client if you loose your servers rather than having to use the web consol (VI Client Foundation only has restrictions of number of hosts it can manage {MAX 3 Hosts} - ESX3.5 you want enterprise edition to gain all features)

    These are just one or two things to remember when setting up Virtual system for the first time - mind is now starting to go blank at this early hour so I'll leave it at that.

    Hope this helps,
    Dave

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    tmcd35's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DAckroyd View Post
    3) Hyper-V server 2008 is FREE! (and good)
    Can't believe this, but I'm actually seriously looking at Hyper-V here!

    4) MS server licening allows you to buy 1 standard edition with Hyper-V and install 1 Virtual Free, Enterprise 1 physical + 4 VM's, Datacenter edition (Per CPU not per server) gives you 1 physical licence and unlimited VM's (compatible with VMware systems)
    MS-Server Licensing:
    Standard = 1Physical + 1 Virtual on the same hardware
    Enterprise = 1Physical + 4 Virtual on the same hardware
    Datacenter = 1Physical + Unlimited Virtual on the same hardware.
    You need 1 copy of datacenter for each CPU in the physical hardware.

    So if you have 3 physical servers with 2 CPU's each. You'll need 6 copies of Datacenter to run unlimited VM's on those machines. 1 Copy of Enterprise will allow 4 VM's on 1 machine. 3 Copies of Enterprise will allow 4 VMs on each server, 12 VMs on one server or 8 VM's on 1 server and 4VM's on another.

    5) Microsoft Virtual Machine Manager 2008 is good - will manage both VMware, Virtual Server and Hyper-V servers from the same consol.
    About 500?

    6) someone said they had moved 11 servers onto 1 machine - have at least 2 and if using VMware setup V-Motion will load-balance and give redundancy (as long as VM's are stored on shared storage/SAN)
    Under VMWare - VMotion and High Availability require a seperate server running the Management Console, costs about a 1000 for the software. VMotion also requires an additional license. They also require the paid for ESX not the free ESXi download.

    Thus the reason for looking seriously at Hyper-V. All this will be free and built into Hyper-V in Windows 2K8-R2!

    11) Don't forget to set the Virtual Centre Server to Auto boot first so you can use the VI Client if you loose your servers rather than having to use the web consol (VI Client Foundation only has restrictions of number of hosts it can manage {MAX 3 Hosts} - ESX3.5 you want enterprise edition to gain all features)
    The VI Client works fine without Virtual Center Server. You just point it at the ESX hosts individually. If you don't need (or can't afford) V-Motion and HA, then Virtual Center Server is possibly a luxury you don't need. This is the setup I had at the last place.

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    FN-GM's Avatar
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    @piuqeboo

    It wasn't a conversion that caused the problem not sure how it happened to be honest. My servers have been virtual for months and where clean installs of windows server and premoted to a DC.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tmcd35 View Post
    Can't believe this, but I'm actually seriously looking at Hyper-V here!


    MS-Server Licensing:
    Standard = 1Physical + 1 Virtual on the same hardware
    Enterprise = 1Physical + 4 Virtual on the same hardware
    Datacenter = 1Physical + Unlimited Virtual on the same hardware.
    You need 1 copy of datacenter for each CPU in the physical hardware.

    So if you have 3 physical servers with 2 CPU's each. You'll need 6 copies of Datacenter to run unlimited VM's on those machines. 1 Copy of Enterprise will allow 4 VM's on 1 machine. 3 Copies of Enterprise will allow 4 VMs on each server, 12 VMs on one server or 8 VM's on 1 server and 4VM's on another.
    That sounds about right - also didn't mention that you can run ANY current and previous version of windows under the datacentre licenceb (want to return to windows 3.11? is that too new? or enterprise edition of Vista (with SA or 2008R2 licence win7 should be included in the same way)

    The cost of VMM2008 is dependant on the type of licencing you buy into - you may be looking at as little as 45 per year if you're on schools agreement
    Try downloading it from Technet

    Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V looks like it's getting some good features (I don't thing that will have fully seamless migration but it's still Live migration)

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    gshaw's Avatar
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    Might be good to mention what hardware you're going for to run the virtualised servers as well? I' m thinking of Hyper-V for application servers and the like (still prefer Exchange and SQL on physical ones for now) but interested to hear what level of kit people are running it all on

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    garethedmondson (3rd February 2009)

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    MK-2's Avatar
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    I'm using VMware converter to back up our servers prior to RM coming in, so if anything happens I have quick access to data rather than having to rely on tapes to restore data.
    Not planning on using it to run virtual servers yet, but two of our servers are old and do very little so am tempted to virtualise them

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    Quote Originally Posted by gshaw View Post
    Might be good to mention what hardware you're going for to run the virtualised servers as well? I' m thinking of Hyper-V for application servers and the like (still prefer Exchange and SQL on physical ones for now) but interested to hear what level of kit people are running it all on
    Our install before Christmas got us everything down to a new cab (All HP):
    2x DL380 Servers [2x quad core Xeon's @ 2.5GHz; 26GB RAM, 2x 74GB SAS 15k rpm drives mirrored] - ESX Hosts
    1x DL120 dualcore xeon 3GB RAM - physical 2k8 server holding copy of AD just in case
    1x MSA2000 with 12x450GB HDD's 15k RPM

    with install under 35,000 - VMware Licences was one of the larger costs as was the MSA


    note for anyone looking to get a setup in the next half year to a year: Intel are unvailing their 8-core(+hyperthreading) Xeons this month (build on the same technology as Core i7). Perfect CPU for a virtual server host.

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    tmcd35's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DAckroyd View Post
    note for anyone looking to get a setup in the next half year to a year: Intel are unvailing their 8-core(+hyperthreading) Xeons this month (build on the same technology as Core i7). Perfect CPU for a virtual server host.
    Just been looking at my 5-year development plan with the head, went very well , new servers are due to start rolling in around 2011 onwards. I'm positively salivating at the possible specs I'll be buying then! Dual Xeons, 16-Cores, 32-Threads, Ooooooh.

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